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Woman Hand Pushing Button Smartphone

Apps That Help You Save While You Shop

Woman Hand Pushing Button Smartphone

Is the age-old tradition of coupon clipping still part of our weekly routine? Put down the scissors and walk away from the weekly store ads cause there is a better way to save. Stop the tedious searching for coupons and promo codes and download apps that find the deals for you. Not only will you save time but you will also find deals you might not have even realize existed. Here are some of the best apps to start using while shopping.

1. Jet

With the goal to build a better shopping experience for their customers, you can save tons by using the Jet app. With their real-time savings engine, the prices drop as you shop. You can get everything from toilet paper to bed sheets on Jet and the more items you add to your cart that have a tag symbol beside them, the lower the price will drop for each item. So buying in bulk for items like toilet paper, toothpaste and granola bars will save you more. The price per item also drops when you opt out for free returns, and pay with a debit card instead of a credit card.

2. Retail Me Not

Score deals at your favorite stores and restaurants with the award-winning app that makes it easy to save with thousands of deals from over 50,000 retailers. The app syncs with your map to notify you of the best deals near you. Whether you’re on vacation in a new city or just driving through your neighborhood, the app will alert you when a deal is near.

3. Shop Advisor

The Shop Advisor app does just what its name suggests, it advises you when the price is just right to purchase. You simply create a list of items you are interested in purchasing and the system watches that item and alerts you when the price drops the lowest online.

4. PriceGrabber

This app scans the prices on all sites that carry a specific item you’re shopping for and gives a full comparison report. The app gives you the bottom-line price, taking into consideration the shipping cost for an item. You can also simply scan a bar code of a product to get a quick, real-time view of where to purchase an item at the cheapest price.

5. Wallaby

If you take advantage of reward programs on credit cards, then you can double your rewards with the Wallaby app. When shopping for items online, the Wallaby system will scan your shopping cart and compare them with your credit card reward programs and tell you which card to use for what items, getting you the highest reward points possible. You can also set up notifications for when you’re getting close to your credit limit or when it’s time to pay a bill.

Meal Plan

Workweek Meal Plan That’s Cheap, Easy, and Healthy

The actual decision to start eating healthy is effortless. You just decide one day, “hey, I’m going to start eating healthier.” The phrase “easier said than done” fits perfectly with the idea of eating healthy. You can say you’ll do it, but when it comes down to actually choosing healthier options for meals it can be rather difficult. Below we have created an easy planning guide to making cheap, easy, and most importantly healthy meals that will get you through the entire workweek. A lot of these recipes utilize leftovers from previous meals, which will aid in cutting grocery costs. Links to full recipes for lunches and dinners are included.

monday

Breakfast

Banana and peanut butter on wheat toast

Lunch

Turkey sandwich – Recipe

Carrots with light ranch, and an apple

Snack

Low-fat yogurt

Dinner

Chicken tortilla soup – Recipe

(Note: Make extra chicken and set aside for Tuesday’s lunch.)

tuesday

Breakfast

Yogurt and all bran cereal

Lunch

Grilled chicken caesar salad wrap – Recipe

Celery with peanut butter

(Note: Use leftover chicken from Monday’s dinner.)

Snack

Mixed Nuts

 Dinner

Bacon and Broccoli Rice Bowl – Recipe

(Note: Make extra boiled eggs for Wednesday’s breakfast and extra bacon for Wednesday’s lunch.)

wednesday

Breakfast

Boiled eggs and wheat toast

(Note: use extra boiled eggs from Tuesday’s dinner.)

Lunch

BLT with avocado – Recipe

Chips and salsa

(Note: Use extra bacon from Tuesday’s dinner.)

Snack

Cottage cheese and saltine crackers

Dinner

Chicken, pepper and corn stir-fry – Recipe

(Note: Make extra and before seasoning set aside. Use peppers for Thursday’s breakfast and chicken and corn for Thursday’s lunch.)

thursday

Breakfast

Scrambled eggs with peppers

(Note: Use extra peppers from Wednesday’s dinner.)

Lunch

Southwest salad with chicken –Recipe

(Note: Use extra chicken and corn from Wednesday’s dinner.)

Snack

Carrots with light ranch 

Dinner

Antipasti Penne –Recipe

friday

Breakfast

Oatmeal and bananas

 Lunch

Tuna salad sandwich – Recipe

Low sodium chips

Snack

Peanut butter and crackers

 Dinner

Turkey Chili – Recipe

College Planning

How to Save on College Tuition

College Planning

College isn’t cheap. There are a lot of costs associated with furthering your education and for most it’s a heavy burden to carry. If you are looking for ways to save on your college tuition, then look no further. Here is a list of the best ways to cut down the cost of your schooling.

Choose your college wisely

When it comes to deciding what college to enroll in, the price of that school should be a major factor to consider. College tuition can vary in price and we are talking a difference of $7,000 a semester to $27,000 a semester. A good rule of thumb is to avoid the private schools and choose a public school. Private schools will always have higher tuition compared to public schools. As well as choosing a public school, go to an in-state school. Tuition fees for out-of-state students can more than double in cost.

Live off campus

Some schools require you to live on campus the first year, forcing you to pay more for a tiny dorm room instead of sharing a 2-bedroom apartment with a roommate. If there is no way around it then do your time and get out of there. There are loopholes however. Already having an established residency within driving distance from campus will get you out of living on campus the first year at a lot of colleges.

Continually apply for scholarships

Scholarships aren’t just for high school students. There are tons of scholarship programs out there for current students, older individuals starting school, part time students, and parents going back to school. You name it and there is a scholarship for it. All you have to do is research to find them. Every semester you should apply and reapply for scholarships. You’d be surprised at how much of your tuition can be cut out from being awarded numerous small dollar scholarships, so make sure and apply for any amount, not just the sizable ones.

Rent your books instead of buying them

It just might be one of the biggest rip-offs associated with the college expenses, but you have to have books for your classes. Instead of spending over $1,000 on books per semester, rent your books for a fraction of the cost. Companies like Chegg and ValorBooks offer a rental service where they ship the textbooks as well as provide shipping labels for you to ship them back once the semester is over.

Track your educational expenses and deduct them from your income

Yep, college expenses are tax deductible. Take advantage of this by tracking everything you spend on college: tuition, books, a computer, and even pencils. It all adds up and you can get a heftier refund come tax season. You can also get a refund for the interest paid on federal student loans, so make sure to add that to your deductions as well.

Go to a college with fixed-price tuition

There are multiple colleges and universities that offer fixed-price tuition. When attending a fixed-price school, they guarantee that price for tuition will be exactly the same from your freshman year until your senior year. And since many schools hike up the price of tuition every year, this can be a big money saver throughout college.

See if you qualify for tuition waivers

A tuition waiver substantially reduces the price of tuition for those that fall in a specific category, like a veterans or teachers. Certain schools have different waivers but almost all schools have some type of waiver. The most common types of waivers offered by schools are for veterans, Peace Corps workers, teachers, or the dependents of higher education employees, as well as students whose parents work in civil services (i.e. firefighters, police or academics).

Take summer classes

Since most students are living it up and getting as far away from school as possible during the summer, enrollment is very low and this transfers over to the price of classes during this time. Look to see if classes you need are offered during the summer and try to enroll for them then to cut down the cost of classes.

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Facts You Never Knew about the Chocolate Chip Cookie

It’s one the most famous desserts enjoyed all around the world. The chocolate chip cookie has been around for decades and has been implemented into many different desserts. To pay homage to the famous chocolate chip cookie, we have created a list of some interesting facts you might not have known about this delicious treat.

first-cookie

Way back in 1937, a woman by the name of Ruth Graves was making Butter Drop Do cookies and didn’t have Bakers chocolate to mix in with the dough. To improvise, she reached for a bar of Nestle chocolate and chopped up chunks to mix in with the dough. Ruth expected the chocolate chunks to melt and mix in with the dough, but instead the chunks kept their shape and, VIOLA! The chocolate chip cookie was made.

largest

In 2003 the world’s largest chocolate chip cookie was made by the Immaculate Baking Company. The cookie weighed a whopping 40,000 pounds with a 101 feet diameter. To create a cookie of this size, it took the team over 8 months and they used a total of 30,000 eggs.

numberone

With an average of 7 billion eaten in a year, the chocolate chip cookie is proven to be a favorite of all. In a study about cookie preference, 50% of Americans chose chocolate chip cookies over oatmeal, peanut butter, and any other type of cookie. In another study, 13.5% of Americans admitted to haven eaten 20 or more chocolate chip cookies in one sitting. The famous cookie is one of the 4 foods that the pickiest of eaters accepts.

cip

If you wanted to buy a bag of chocolate chips before 1937 then you were out of luck. Chances are you probably would not have been looking for them though, cause they didn’t even exist. Nestle created chocolate chips specifically to be used for making chocolate chip cookies. The average cookie contains 6 to 8 chocolate chips, yet one tablespoon of cookie dough can contain a maximum of 50 chocolate chips.

butter

One of the most important ingredients, other than the chocolate chip of course, is butter. Butter contributes the most to the actual taste of the cookie and depending on how you use it in your receipt can change the outcome of the texture and taste. Using melted butter when mixing the dough will create a denser cookie while using a creamy butter makes the cookie have a more soft, cake texture.

Local Farmers Market

How to Save Money at the Farmers Market

Local Farmers Market

So there is a myth about shopping at farmers markets that we would like to bust. Produce at your local farmers market has gained the title of “expensive “when compared to produce at a chain grocery store, and we definitely do not think this is always the case. Along with being good for the local economy, organic, fresher, and better tasting, local produce can also beat out the price of grocery store produce. You just have to know how to shop. To guide you on your next adventure to the local farmers market, here are some tips to follow to save some money.

Go for less than perfect

Let’s get real. Do your apples really need to be the exact shade of red and shaped to perfection? Well for a lot of people, yes they do, but you’re a savvy shopper and your spending habits aren’t affected by fruit vanity. Because the not so pretty items don’t sell as well, a lot of times they are actually discounted in price. And even if the seller isn’t advertising the items are discounted, just ask. Give a concerned look at that deformed peach and simple say, “Is this one full price?”

Don’t make a list

Yes, in most cases making a list when grocery shopping is a must if you’re trying to save, and especially if you’re on a tight budget until the next payday. If you make a list when going to the farmers market, however, then you might not be as cognizant of the lesser expensive items. Instead of going in with a list of specific items, try showing up open minded without any ideas of what fruits and vegetables you need. Plan out meals based on cheaper produce once you are there and can see your options.

Timing is everything

So it’s pouring the rain outside. Pull up your rain boots, grab an umbrella, and head out to the market to score some deals. Supply and demand drive prices in the sense that if there are less people in attendance, then there is less likely of a chance that farmers will be able to sell all items easily. Going to a market when the crowds are low will give you more options with more say so on prices. Going 30 minutes before the market closes is also a good time to get leftovers that vendors will be trying to get rid of by selling cheaper.

Buy in season

A bowl of cherries in the dead of winter may be exactly what you want, but when it comes to budget friendly eating, it’s probably not the best idea. The beauty of a farmers market is that cherries will not even be an option in the middle of January.   Shopping locally will in-fact force you to buy what is in season, and those fruits and vegetables dramatically decrease in price.

Negotiate

It’s a market, not a grocery store. Don’t hesitate to do a little haggling. Remember that produce has an expiration date and these farmers want to get rid of their crops. Try to build a relationship with the regular farmers and show you’re a loyal customer. Chances are they just might cut you a deal on items if you get in good enough.

Tax Saving Tips- Save On Ac

How to Reduce Home Cooling Cost

Tax Saving Tips- Save On Air Conditioner

The Summer heat is in full force which means so is your AC system. If it feels like your vents are literally sucking money out of your pockets, then it’s time to make a few changes to save on your energy bill. Below you will find five easy ways to reduce your cooling expense so you can stay cool the rest of the Summer and not spend an arm and leg.

1. Use It Where It Counts

If you have a guest room or bonus room that is never used, don’t waste energy cooling it. Most thermostats are in the living room and the AC is regulated based on the temperature in that room. If you close the vents in unused rooms more cold air will blow into rooms with vents opened, causing the temperature to regulate faster and use less energy.

2. Use It When It Counts

If no one is home, then don’t waste energy keeping the temperature at a comfortable degree. It is recommended you set your AC  5 degrees higher when you leave and immediately set it back to the desired degree once you are home. So, if you like your home set at 72 degrees, set it at 77 degrees when you leave each day.

3. Shut Your Doors

Just like closing vents in unused rooms, make sure to always keep all interior doors closed. This will cut down the amount of square footage the AC is heating and cause your house to cool down quicker. Your system will turn on less, which will have a positive effect on your energy bill.

4. Change Out Your Filter

A dirty air-return filter can significantly increase the cost to keep your home cool this summer. Dirt and grime in the filter restricts airflow causing your AC unit to work extra hard to cool your space, which drives up your electric bill. Make sure to check all air filters and replace them regularly to ensure your system is working as efficiently as possible.

5. Run Ceiling Fans Forward

If you didn’t already know, you can set your ceiling fans to either spin clockwise or counter clockwise. When set clockwise, or reverse, the fan pulls air up and redistributes it, which is recommended for winter, since heat rises. When your fan is set to run counter clockwise, or forward, it pushes air down creating a cooling effect. This is recommended for summer. It’s a good idea to always adjust the direction of your fan based on the season to use it the most efficiently.

How To Dye Easter Eggs With Neck Ties

How to Dye Easter Eggs with Neck Ties

Anyone who has ever dyed Easter eggs knows that it can be a messy activity, especially with young children. A new technique that has become the popular trend this year is fabric dyed eggs. This technique is not only super easy and mess free, but it also produces beautiful and unique Easter eggs. Keep scrolling and you will get our step by step guide on how to dye eggs using a men’s tie.

Supplies

Supplies needed to dye the eggs using fabric are an unboiled egg, scissors, an old white t-shirt, paper clip or string, a pot with lid to boil the eggs, a 100% silk tie, and 1/4 cup of vinegar.

Supplies

Step 1: Cut Up Tie

First thing to do is cut the tie so there is enough fabric  to wrap around the egg. Make sure to  loosen all thread so the fabric spreads out as shown below. It is important that your tie is 100% silk or the dye will not transfer over to the egg. We found our tie at Goodwill for $1.50.

laid-out

Step 2: Cut Out Shirt

Next you need to cut out a circle in the white t-shirt. Make sure to cut a circle large enough that you can completely cover the egg. You can actually use any thin fabric for this like an old sheet or pillow case. When choosing a fabric make sure it is completely white.

shirt

Step 3: Wrap Eggs in Fabric

Now you need to wrap the tie fabric around the eggs. Make sure the front side of the tie, the side that shows, is on the inside so more ink will bleed onto the egg. Using either a paper clip or string, tie the top so its tight around the egg. Next, take the t-shirt cut out and wrap around the egg the same.

Wrap

Step 4: Boil Egg

Place egg in a pot and make sure the water completely covers the egg. Add in 1/4 a cup of white vinegar and let boil for 20 minutes. Make sure to cover the pot when boiling.

Pot

Step 5: Let Cool and Unwrap

After 20 minutes of boiling, take out the eggs and let cool on  a towel for 10-15 minutes. Carefully unwrap eggs and see your beautiful creation. And thats it! super easy and fast with hardly any clean up.

finished

Fun St. Patrick's Day Crafts For Kids

Paper Plate St. Patty’s Day Crafts

It’s almost St. Patricks day and one of the best ways to celebrate with the kids are some fun and easy crafts. Here are some where all you’ll  need are paper plates, construction paper, scissors, glue, and some paint to do any of these super easy St. Patricks Day crafts. So gather up the kids and start crafting together!

leprechaunText

Lepruchan

clover-hat-textClover_Hat

rainbow-text Rainbow

Pot-of-goldTExt

We offer products similar to a Payday loans, loans, flex loans, title loans, and installment loans, at  Advance Financial. If you need cash fast we got you covered. We offer flexibility with our Pot-of-goldFlex Loan. 

Happy Dog

Small Changes that will Make You Happier in Life

True happiness-Is it not what everyone in life is after? If you view happiness as something that some just naturally have and others do not, then you are looking at this emotion completely wrong. Happiness is a feeling that needs to be nurtured. Everyone deserves to have it, yet you have to make a concise decision to strive for it. Though there are those individuals who are just naturally happier, attaining a greater sense of this emotion and achieving the title of “a happy person” can be done with these simple changes in your life.

Do what you love, love what you do

Is the only thing getting you through the day the anticipation of payday? Make sure the line of work you’re in matches up with things you enjoy doing. If you enjoy math, work in finances. If you’re a people person and enjoy helping others, work in retail or as a customer service rep. You want to be able to look forward to the activities you do everyday and not be counting down the hours till it’s over.

Smile often

Multiple studies have shown that just the act of smiling, whether it be sincere or not, can actually cause one to feel happier. Try to occasionally smile while driving to work everyday and see if your mood is improved.

Start exercising

It has been proven that daily physical activity lowers the risk of depression and anxiety. And don’t think that you now have to get a gym membership and become a fitness junkie. Just simply taking a light jog or walk for 10 minutes a day is all it takes to improve ones happiness and health.

Get adequate sleep

No matter how much you love your job and the people you work with, if you’re tired throughout the day it’s going to affect your mood. Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night will dramatically increase your chances of being happy. That’s 7 to 9 hours of good sleep as well. To help fall into a deep sleep, try to avoid using any mobile devices like tablets or smartphones 30 minutes before hitting the sack.

Spend time with the ones you love

Life is short, so spend it with the ones you love. Love is a strong emotion that is directly intertwined with happiness. Make a conscious effort to start spending more quality time with friends and family.

Get some fresh air

Staying cooped up all day is bound to make anyone go crazy eventually. And with television and the use of smart phones and other devices, you might not even realize how much of your free time is actually spent indoors. Spending more time outside and being exposed to healthy amounts of sunlight has been scientifically proven to trigger endorphins that create the feeling of happiness. Try taking your lunch breaks outside if possible and sitting on a porch or balcony when relaxing after a hard days work. Taking a hike on your day off is another excellent idea, which encompasses both exercise and being outdoors.

Woman Saving Money

How to Cut Down Your Heating Bill

The cold will soon be upon us and with cold weather also comes high heating bills. Whether your home is heated by electric or gas, the cost to heat your home can significantly increase if you don’t take certain precautions to run your system as efficiently as possible. The more energy used this winter the higher the cost will be, so the key is to conserve as much energy and heat as possible. To help out with being energy efficient this winter we have listed 5 quick and easy things to do to conserve the heat in your house which will help to lower your electric or gas bill.

airfilter

A dirty air-return filter can significantly increase the cost to heat your home this winter. Dirt and grime in the filter restricts airflow causing your AC unit to work extra hard to heat your home, which increases your electric bill. Make sure to check all air filters and replace them regularly to ensure your system is working as efficiently as possible.

filterpic


fans

If you didn’t already know, you can set your ceiling fans to either spin clockwise or counter clockwise. When your fan is set to run counter clockwise, or forward, it pushes air down creating a cooling effect. This is recommended for summer. When set clockwise, or reverse, the fan pulls air up and redistributes it, which is recommended for winter since heat rises.

fanspic


spaceheater

You might be thinking, “Wait? A space heater uses electricity!” If you turn down your ac a few degrees and run a space heater in the room that’s occupied the most, the amount of energy used from the AC is substantially less. Even with a space heater running. Just make sure to turn off the space heater at night, and bundle up with extra layers.

spaceheatpic


vents

If you have a guest room or bonus room that is never used, don’t waste energy heating it. Most thermostats are in the living room and the AC is regulated based on the temperature in that room. If you close the vents in unused rooms more hot air will blow into rooms with vents opened, causing the temperature to regulate faster and use less energy.

ventspic


doors

Just like closing vents in unused rooms, make sure to always keep all interior doors closed. This will cut down the amount of square footage the AC is heating and cause your house to warm up quicker. Your system will turn on less, which will have a positive affect on your heating bill.

doorspic